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I spent two days at Cedar Point

Old 08-05-19, 12:57 PM
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I spent two days at Cedar Point

Cedar Point, for those not aware, is an amusement park known for having one of the best collections of roller coasters in the world. The park is an on island in Lake Erie in Sandusky, OH which is about an hour west of Cleveland. It's kind of in the middle of nowhere but the location on the lake is great: you get views all the way to Canada on many rides, there's a large beach right in the park, and the park has a general seaside feel. The park owns five resorts, I believe, one of which is directly adjacent to the park and pretty nice.

Almost every coaster at this park is either a current or former world record holder of some variety. The rides at this park are big, intense, minimally themed and for enthusiasts. There's also a lot for smaller kids to do, a large collection of flat rides and a number of water rides. The park is very clean and well maintained, almost at Disney levels of spotlessness. The food is in general a cut above most amusement parks but hardly "gourmet". The queues are mostly shaded but this place can be very hot on a summer day, plan accordingly.

Cedar Point is reasonably inexpensive to visit. There are many hotel/park ticket/dining packages that represent good deals. Also, the park offers a "Fast Lane" line skipping pass, which is fairly expensive given the price of entry tickets (a top of the line Fast Lane pass is $120/day for all rides) but absolutely worth it. Fast Lane is particularly valuable at this park as few people seem to buy it and the general entry lines are long. A Fast Lane pass frankly changes the nature of the park: you can relax because you know can walk on most everything and you're not stuck out in the sun in lines all day.

As I mentioned, this is a place for roller coaster enthusiasts. There's a good reason it's a destination park for people all over the world. Here's my ranking of the main coasters there:

1. Steel Vengeance: the newest coaster in the park is also the best, and according to many people is literally the best coaster in the world. This is a giant hybrid coaster made by RMC, if that means anything to you. It's a retrack of the old Mean Streak, which was terrible, but it's totally unrecognizable. Steel Vengeance is extremely intense, relentlessly so, in fact almost comically so. The ride has almost 30 seconds of airtime, the most of any coaster. You are out of your seat throughout the ride. You are a ragdoll on this ride, just accept the airtime and go with it. Incredible ride and the best coaster I personally have ever been on.

2. Maverick: deceptively powerful Intamin Blitz coaster with two LSM launches. This ride snaps you back and forth through a very powerful set of maneuvers while still being comfortable. The second launch, 70 mph in a tunnel into a tight left turn, is simply incredible. The ride also is very reliable and has high throughput. They were running six trains when I was there and I rode this 10 times.

3. Top Thrill Dragster: 420 feet tall, 0-120+ MPH in less than four seconds. This coaster is so impressive to see that there are actually stands for people to watch the trains launch. A front seat ride on Top Thrill Dragster is, bar none, the most intense moment I've ever experienced on a roller coaster. You're 400+ feet in the air before you understand what happening to you. Then you fall 400+ feet straight down at 90+ mph. Wow.

4. Valravn: the tallest dive coaster in the world. Holds you at 200 feet before falling at 90 degrees and going into the second largest inversion in the world. Has a terrific 270 degree zero-G inversion midcourse that hangs you in slow motion. Tons of fun, hurt by very long lines.

5. Gatekeeper: the largest wingcoaster in the world. Has the highest inversion in the world. Like any wingcoaster, this is very smooth and has minimal airtime. The ride has powerful positive Gs and several great near-miss moments flying through keyholes. It's also the best looking coaster in the park with a beautiful blue and white paint scheme and minimal supports.

6. Gemini: 41 year old hybrid racing coaster. This was a terrific palate-cleanser ride to mix in with the bigger stuff around the park. The trains are right next to each other throughout the ride and the interaction is lots of fun. There's also a reasonable amount of airtime, some great head-chopper moments and the ride is surprisingly smooth. Classic amusement park stuff.

7. Millenium Force: only at Cedar Point would a 300+ foot tall Intamin Gigacoaster be the seventh best coaster. This ride is absolutely huge. You hit 93 mph at the bottom of the first drop and never drop below 70 mph throughout the ride. The trains also are very "low cut" and the only restraint is a lapbar, making you feel very exposed throughout. The issue with this ride is lack of intensity. Yes it's huge, but there's no airtime at all, very little G-force and no surprises in the layout. Still, it's huge, fast and powerful.

8. Raptor: a very large inverted B&M coaster, one of the first inverted coasters ever built. If you've been on any Batman at Six Flags, this is essentially a larger version of that. The best parts of this are the great cobra roll turnaround and the powerful double helix at the end. Not a head-banger despite the old school over the shoulder restraints. Never has a long line.

9. Magnum XL-200: yes, I have to rate this classic Arrow, a world record holder for tallest coaster when it was built, at #9 . I love this ride but it's starting to show its age. It's very rough in spots and uncomfortable. The giant first drop is relatively shallow and feels old school at this point. There is a great turn-around that makes you feel like you're about to be dumped into the lake, the beach-side location is the best of any coaster in the park and there's some great airtime on the bunnyhills coming back to the station but I just didn't really enjoy this.

10. Rougarou: the old (extremely uncomfortable) Mantis B&M stand-up was given new floorless trains and rebranded Rougarou. In any other park, this would be a headline attraction, here it's just kind of there. Does have some of the stronger positive Gs in the park and a couple of nice inversions. Also, it's a walk-on all day even in crowded conditions. Not bad, but hardly memorable.

11. Blue Streak: a 1964 woodie that is surprisingly fast and powerful. I actually really like this ride but it has a fatal flaw for me: it's tremendously uncomfortable. The restraints absolutely bashed my thighs and the sides of the seat dug into my torso. If you fit better into this ride (I'm 5'10", 160 lbs), you will likely enjoy this a great deal.

12. Iron Dragon: a fairly enjoyable little family suspended coaster. Nothing memorable but a great first coaster for kids.

I didn't ride:
Corkscrew: a very famous, very early Arrow looper which looks great but I know is very rough and head-banging. No thanks.
Cedar Creek Mine Train: one of the oldest steel coasters still in operation anywhere, not interested.
Wicked Twister: I personally despise these back-and-forth LIM-launched things.
Any of the junior coasters, of which there are several
Any of the water rides, of which there are several, a couple of which are supposed to be very good. Didn't want to be soggy all day.

I didn't go on any flat ride because there are too many coasters to waste time. I should have gone on Windseeker, their giant tower swing because the views are supposed to be the best in the park, but I didn't. I didnt go to any of the shows, of which there are many. I didn't ride the train and I should have.

Other things I liked: the wilderness trail which is shaded, quiet and well themed. The Town Hall museum, which is actually very well done and interesting. The Skyride, which saves you having to walk the entire midway and gives great views. The shady spots to sit, which are everywhere.

Two things I didn't like: the arcade which used to be full of great vintage stuff but is now almost entirely redemption game BS, the merch which was not great anywhere,

Anyway, that's it. If you like coasters, you need to visit this park at some point. It's a great place.
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Old 08-05-19, 01:30 PM
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Re: I spent two days at Cedar Point

I live in Toledo (R.I.P.), so I am very familiar with Cedar Point. I can't argue too much with your rankings, although Dragster doesn't do much for me anymore. The first couple of times was a real adrenaline rush, but it's over so quick, it's just not worth the wait anymore IMO. I also largely skip Gemini, though over the years I have ridden too many times to count. Of the "older" coasters, I probably prefer the Blue Streak. It is a little cramped (I'm 6'1") and they changed the harnesses to make it more secure. Feeling like you were going to fly out was half the fun!! Iron Dragon is supposedly more fun at night with the VR mode, though I have not tried it myself. Vengeance, Maverick, and Valravn would be my personal top three. Being in the front car of Valravn and hanging suspended for a few seconds while looking straight down is quite the thrill! Maverick is amazing and Vengeance is simply another level. I was skeptical because I hated Mean Streak so much, but it really delivers.

Of the things you didn't do, Power Tower is pretty good, though I preferred the former Demon Drop ride. Pipe Scream is a pretty good twist on the "back-and-forth" rides that doesn't make me seasick like the spinning stuff that my daughter loves does. I don't eat much when I'm at Cedar Point, but I do appreciate that they have quite a few different options and most of it is pretty darn good.
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Old 08-05-19, 03:31 PM
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Re: I spent two days at Cedar Point

Nice, I love roller coasters and this would only be maybe a five hour drive for me, it sounds great. Unfortunately, none of my family likes rides so I'd be the only one having fun. Someday!
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Old 08-05-19, 03:42 PM
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Re: I spent two days at Cedar Point

Cedar Point is awesome. I'm also about a 5 hour drive away. Totally worth it. Of course the last time I went, Millenium Force was still relatively new... so it's been awhile for me.

Of the classics I love Magnum and Gemini. Gemini is just a smooth ride all around. Nothing too daring, but not too shabby either.
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Old 08-05-19, 04:23 PM
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Re: I spent two days at Cedar Point

I have the season pass that works at both Kings Island and Cedar Point and enjoy both (live in the Dayton area). They started work on a giga coaster at KI this year, finally!
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Old 08-05-19, 05:05 PM
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Re: I spent two days at Cedar Point

I only been to Cedar Point once and that was just after the Millenium Force opened. I wish I would have gone more since I used to love rollercoasters when I was younger. Now, not so much and therefore defeats the whole purpose of going there.
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Old 08-05-19, 05:07 PM
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Re: I spent two days at Cedar Point

I've been to Cedar Point many times as a teenager, and really have no desire to ever go again. Don't enjoy coasters, and there's really nothing else worth your time to do there. Last couple times I spent most of the time waiting for my friends to get off of coasters that I refused to go on again. I can appreciate that people enjoy them and it's the best place for them, but it's not for me.
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Old 08-05-19, 05:12 PM
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Re: I spent two days at Cedar Point

I went to Cedar Point once as a teenager and finally returned 25+ years later when I took my daughter last year. We had a blast spending 2 days there.

One tip which I wish had been shared with us--there is more than one entrance to the park. We got there day 1 right about when they opened and raced back to Steel Vengeance which is toward the back. The line was already outrageous and I couldn't figure it out. After some investigation, I discovered another entrance much closer to SV. Showed up there on day 2 and followed the crowd to SV with a minimal wait.

We did have some bad luck in that at the end of the 2nd day, we noticed the line for SV had become reasonable (45 minutes or so) and we went back for one final ride. Halfway through the wait, the skies opened up. Many people, including us, waited out the downpour, being led to believe we would get that last ride despite it being 30-45 minutes past park closing. Eventually it was announced the forecast was too bad to have that work out. So we have the memory of a long, soggy walk back to the car after wasting a bunch of time waiting. But alas, it was a ball overall and I would go back in a heartbeat. Also, we went in early June when it was cooler. Sweatshirts were comfortable most of the time.

I think it was the Iron Dragon (could be wrong) that shut down late afternoon and reopened at 6 as a virtual reality coaster. While the ride itself wasn't the most thrilling, the new element was fun to experience.
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Old 08-05-19, 06:48 PM
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Re: I spent two days at Cedar Point

Great write up Hiro. You should write for Roller Coaster Afficianado Magazine.

2 questions.

Is Cedar Fair open 365 or is it seasonal?
Have you ever been to Six Flags Magic Mountain and how do they compare?
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Old 08-05-19, 06:52 PM
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Re: I spent two days at Cedar Point

Originally Posted by Mabuse View Post
Great write up Hiro. You should write for Roller Coaster Afficianado Magazine.

2 questions.

Is Cedar Fair open 365 or is it seasonal?
Have you ever been to Six Flags Magic Mountain and how do they compare?
I'm not Hiro but according to their website is seasonal. They are open everyday from May to September and then it goes to weekends only until Halloween.
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Old 08-05-19, 06:57 PM
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Re: I spent two days at Cedar Point

Cedar Point rules! I was last there about 18 years ago and really need to make a return trip!
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Old 08-05-19, 07:59 PM
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Re: I spent two days at Cedar Point

Originally Posted by LorenzoL View Post
I'm not Hiro but according to their website is seasonal. They are open everyday from May to September and then it goes to weekends only until Halloween.
Yeah, I live only a bit north latitude of there and also on the coast of Lake Erie, so that schedule sounds about right considering the climate.

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Old 08-05-19, 08:49 PM
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Re: I spent two days at Cedar Point

I first became aware of Cedar Point during my thrilling theatrical viewing of the movie ROLLERCOASTER in 1977. It looked fascinating then, and probably is still now, although gentrified and about 10x more expensive. I'd have loved to have visited in 1977, less so now because of the gentrification / expense / massive crowds (which are probably 20x the 1977 levels). I'd be willing to bet, however, that compared to the "bend over and be raped" sterilized Disneyland Pollyanna experience of 2019, the Cedar Point experience is still pretty raw and visceral.

One other bone of conetention. The last time I was on some of those great coasters at Magic Mountain in Calif, you were literally crammed in there like in a roll cage, it was uncomfortable and all the "safety" features were NUTS. Has it gotten exponentially worse at places like Cedar Point? It's all about liability for the parks now, and that's sad, assholes are so sue-happy. That would take a huge slice of the fun away from the experience (and the view) as well.

Anyway, I'd love to visit Cedar Point someday in spite of all of the above niggling compaints. The immense amount of varied things to do, the surroundings, the wilderness trail, all sound fantastic.
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Old 08-06-19, 04:57 AM
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Re: I spent two days at Cedar Point

You forgot what should be the #1 coaster....

Spoiler:
Fury 325


j/k

It must be a bit of a sore spot to have the #1 coaster in the world title taken away from the millennium force after so many years dominating that spot. Although at least it's still at a Cedar Park...uh park that still has that top spot. Having ridden both I have to say that Fury 325 deserves that top spot. It really is a perfect ride. It has a lot of force but perfect smoothness. The seats are very comfortable with that perfect balance between feeling secure without getting in the way of the thrill. The pacing is absolutely perfect as there is no mid brake run. It's just constant buttery smooth speed and power. I highly recommend it to any coaster enthusiast.

Excellent write up. I have only been once and it wasn't a very effective trip. We got there late and the person I was with had kids so it kind of slowed everything down. It was also super busy with really long wait times. Maverick was brand new and a super long wait so I didn't get to ride on that one. I loved Millennium Force and Magnum XL 200 were the really memorable ones. Would love to go back but it's pretty far for me and we now have much better roller coasters here in FL then we used to so there isn't as much of a draw for me. Can't wait until our RMC remodel opens up next year at Busch Gardens! That's the main type of coaster we're missing down here.
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Old 08-06-19, 05:18 AM
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Re: I spent two days at Cedar Point

Worlds of Fun is the big amusement park out here. It's owned by the same company, Cedar Fair. I wished it was just as cool as Cedar Point.
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Old 08-06-19, 01:06 PM
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Re: I spent two days at Cedar Point

Originally Posted by zyzzle View Post
I first became aware of Cedar Point during my thrilling theatrical viewing of the movie ROLLERCOASTER in 1977. It looked fascinating then, and probably is still now, although gentrified and about 10x more expensive. I'd have loved to have visited in 1977, less so now because of the gentrification / expense / massive crowds (which are probably 20x the 1977 levels). I'd be willing to bet, however, that compared to the "bend over and be raped" sterilized Disneyland Pollyanna experience of 2019, the Cedar Point experience is still pretty raw and visceral.

One other bone of conetention. The last time I was on some of those great coasters at Magic Mountain in Calif, you were literally crammed in there like in a roll cage, it was uncomfortable and all the "safety" features were NUTS. Has it gotten exponentially worse at places like Cedar Point? It's all about liability for the parks now, and that's sad, assholes are so sue-happy. That would take a huge slice of the fun away from the experience (and the view) as well.

Anyway, I'd love to visit Cedar Point someday in spite of all of the above niggling compaints. The immense amount of varied things to do, the surroundings, the wilderness trail, all sound fantastic.
The film Rollercoaster was not filmed at Cedar Point.

Youre also wrong about everything else youve said.
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Old 08-06-19, 01:50 PM
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Re: I spent two days at Cedar Point

Originally Posted by Mabuse View Post


The film Rollercoaster was not filmed at Cedar Point.

Youre also wrong about everything else youve said.
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Old 08-06-19, 02:29 PM
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Re: I spent two days at Cedar Point

That explosion must have blown up his apostrophes.
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Old 08-06-19, 02:57 PM
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Re: I spent two days at Cedar Point

Enjoyed reading this post. I was super into roller coasters as a teen, and got to go to Cedar Point the year Millennium Force opened. Life goes on and I haven't been into coasters much or been back since. I had no idea there were so many new rides! And they redid Mean Streak?! Crazy, this post makes me want to go back before the season is over. I thought Millennium Force was incredible back in the day - it definitely lacks the intensity of other rides, but I loved the raw speed and simplicity of it, over such a long track length that seems to span half the park. That it is now ranked 7 from someone who clearly knows what they're talking about is pretty crazy. Steel Vengeance looks sick, and it's good that they redid Mantis too because even 15 years ago that was a painful experience.
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Old 08-06-19, 07:22 PM
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Re: I spent two days at Cedar Point

Originally Posted by Mabuse View Post
Have you ever been to Six Flags Magic Mountain and how do they compare?
I have not been to Magic Mountain. Looking at the list of coasters, I'd say Cedar Point has a better line-up overall. I'd love to try Twisted Colossus, which is the only racing RMC as far as I know, Tatsu might convince me that flying coasters don't suck, X2 looks a bit gimmicky to me but might be good, Full Throttle is interesting. The rest looks like standard Six Flags stuff to me, I might be wrong. Cedar Point rides seem to have been created by people who are passionate about roller coasters, essentially every ride there is special. Kennywood strikes me as another park where you can feel a similar passion.
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Old 08-06-19, 07:32 PM
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Re: I spent two days at Cedar Point

Magic Mountain used to be like that. Bespoke unique creations. The original Colossus (featured in Vacation) and Revolution (featured in the aforementioned Rollercoaster) were so special and unique in their day. Viper (which is still there) was revolutionary in its day.
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Old 08-06-19, 07:33 PM
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Re: I spent two days at Cedar Point

Originally Posted by tanman View Post
It must be a bit of a sore spot to have the #1 coaster in the world title taken away from the millennium force after so many years dominating that spot.
I've personally always felt that MF is a bit overrated. In fact, 17 years ago I went to Cedar Point and actually preferred Magnum at that time. Magnum has since become much rougher.
Having ridden both I have to say that Fury 325 deserves that top spot.
I think the general consensus is that Fury 325 is indeed the superior ride and probably the best Giga in the world. I generally prefer B&Ms stuff to Intamin anyway. Still Fury325 is supposed to be light on aggression. Personally, I'm an airtime fiend and something like Steel Vengeance or Maverick is more up my alley. Also, I will say that you need to try Steel Vengeance before pronouncing something else #1. It's another level.

Can't wait until our RMC remodel opens up next year at Busch Gardens! That's the main type of coaster we're missing down here.
Yeah, I'll bet that thing is going to be incredible. The central Florida area does have a much, much better coaster line-up than it used to have.

Last edited by Hiro11; 08-06-19 at 07:55 PM.
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Old 08-06-19, 07:38 PM
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Re: I spent two days at Cedar Point

Originally Posted by Nausicaa View Post
I thought Millennium Force was incredible back in the day - it definitely lacks the intensity of other rides, but I loved the raw speed and simplicity of it, over such a long track length that seems to span half the park.
I absolutely get what you're saying. MF has one of the best first drops I've ever been on and the incredible speed and exposure of the ride is hard to beat. My list is a reflection of my preferences only.
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Old 08-06-19, 10:32 PM
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Re: I spent two days at Cedar Point

Well, mea culpa! I guess ROLLERCOASTER wasn't filmed at Cedar Point after all. But, whch movie was?

Would love to get to Cedar Point someday, but don't look forward to the crowds. I guess Winter would be the best time? But perhaps the park even closes in Winter due to the cold, snow, ice? I don't know.

Hiro, how were the crowds while you were there -- a peak summer day?
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Old 08-06-19, 10:41 PM
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Re: I spent two days at Cedar Point

Originally Posted by zyzzle View Post
Well, mea culpa! I guess ROLLERCOASTER wasn't filmed at Cedar Point after all. But, whch movie was?

Would love to get to Cedar Point someday, but don't look forward to the crowds. I guess Winter would be the best time? But perhaps the park even closes in Winter due to the cold, snow, ice? I don't know.

Hiro, how were the crowds while you were there -- a peak summer day?
It is a seasonal park. If you go on a weekday/night and not one of the specials days, it's not bad at all. 10-15 minute wait times tops.
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